What’s a Libram?

It occurred to me after talking with my English professor that most people probably don’t know what a libram is. It has no real definition being an imaginary item. One might assume it is Latin, coming from liber ‘book’, but it is not a valid declination. Some digging around the internet has revealed that the word traces back to 1950 in Jack Vance’s collection of stories, The Dying Earth. The word ‘libram’ occurs several times in the fantasy novel, The Eyes of the Overworld (1966) by Vance. From then on I assume Dungeons and Dragons made the word more mainstream, and has since appeared in many video games (mostly MMO’s of the fantasy genre).

Source: Libram of Curiosity.

In addition to the side-board, the furnishings included a rug woven in tones of dark red, blue and black, an open cabinet of books and librams, and a tabouret.

Source: Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance.

Advertisements